September 04, 2020 Opinion piece
The poignant patient accounts of the recently published Cumberlege Review has presented the sector with a tragic, yet powerful, prompt for change – and it’s there in black and white embedded in the pages of the review.
If we are to successfully be able to answer the “who, what, where and when” questions associated with any patient intervention, we need visibility, we need traceability, and for that we need standards.
The words of the review has given way to a renewed traction for standards-based, open, interoperable electronic patient record (EPR) systems in alignment with one of Baroness Cumberlege’s nine recommendations – for the implementation of a national patient-identifiable database.
Although, despite standards and interoperability being at the centre of many strategic digital NHS plans of late, we’ve not quite transitioned to a place where standards are in fact standard practice.
However, there is hope that the amendment to the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill (which prompted discussion around the evolution of a central database for medicines and medical devices) will provide the starting point.
It is here where Scan4Safety could serve a pivotal role. The evidence provides the proof and its value was recently echoed in the contributions from Lord Philip Hunt and Lord Ribeiro in the House of Lords just earlier this week.
As Lord Ribeiro states: